Monthly Archives: January 2012

Article with tips on Code Year

Here’s a great article  I just found that has a list of helpful resources for those working though Code Year. It’s worth a read even if you’re not using CodeAcademy.

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New Citizen archivist tools and SNAP gets approved

If you found the NYPL’s What’s on the menu website fun or cool you might be interested in the National Archives Transcription Pilot Project.

You also might like the new NYPL’s Stereogranimator website. Where you can create animated images of their historic collection of sterographs.

Also it looks like SNAP the Students and New Archivist Professional Round Table has been approved. This is great news. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

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Codecademy

I heard about this site last fall. But I’ll be honest, I sent it to myself to look at later but didn’t think much of it at the time. I thought “I don’t have time for this right now. I check it out later when I have more time.” Of course, time never made itself available. That is, until earlier this month when Codecademy introduced Code Year.
First, let me tell you about Codecademy. It’s an online tutorial (or game, I’ve seen it described as both) that teaches you how to code in Javascript. There looks to be plans of adding Ruby and Python coding tutorials later. Their user interface is very easy to use and the lessons are pretty clear-cut. They give you some information and then you have to fix a problem in the program script. Personally, I learn best by doing, so that is an important feature for me. There is also a question and answer forum, where you get help if you get stuck. You can also send in anonymous feedback on the lessons.
Code Year is the website’s initiative to help people learn code this year. Every week, they send you a new lesson. There are only two weeks available so far; but to be honest you, I’ve needed more than a week to complete these lessons. I’m pretty tech-savvy and it’s still taking time for me to go though these lessons.
Codecademy is an excellent resource. It’s a brilliant method for teaching people how to code. This is a program that was sorely needed. I look forward to learning more and continuing to learn code this year. I’ve been telling everyone I can about this website. There was just a Digital archivist position posted from the Rockefeller archives looking for archivists with these skills. Honestly, learning code isn’t going to get you that job all by itself, but it might help you gain the skills that might help you gain experience so you can apply for such a position in the future.

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Non-librarian jobs for those with a Library Science degree

I came across this post a few days ago, it has an excellent list of areas you can go into with a Library Science degree. Most of the jobs listed require extra training in addition to the degree. However if you’re a student or want to expand your knowledge base, this is a great place to start learning what else to learn and where else you can go to learn more.

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Microfilm must die? Really, why? What has it done to you?

Seriously though, I came across this article yesterday and thought it was pretty interesting. It’s well worth a read. I’m not exactly an antiquarian, but I do think microfilm has some life left in it for long-term preservation. I think digitization is the way of the future and it does make collections far more accessible than traditional preservation methods. However, there are some forms of records for which microfilm is the most appropriate.
Corporate employee health records, for example, have to be kept for 30 years by law. Who knows what type of computers or program formats we will be using then — we might not be able to access our own histories. That’s the problem we are facing now with digital records created 10 or more years back. To be fair, I think this problem will fix itself (now that we’ve admitted we have a problem).
Also the costs quoted in this article aren’t quite right. Best practices say you need to have a digital record in at least two places: so, either two hard drives stored apart or perhaps in the cloud (but that’s a whole other kettle of fish). Also the cost of migration for digital data can get pretty high depending on what you’re storing and how often you’re migrating it. Hard drives can also fail. Microfilm degrades, but it doesn’t fail (unless there’s a flood or fire). The author is right that microfilm isn’t the future. But I don’t think you can write off microfilm just yet in all areas of the industry.

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